Two years ago in this space I had:
Offense:Click the link for some of the explanations that I made at the time. But times change and so has my selections. Without further ado, here is the 23 man team that I would ice in Vancouver now:
Patrick Kane-Paul Stastny-Zach Parise
Dustin Brown-Chris Drury-Phil Kessel
Chris Higgins-Tim Connolly-Brian Gionta
Erik Cole-David Legwand-Kyle Okposo
Brian Rafalski-Matt Niskanen
Mike Komisarek-Jack Johnson
Tom Gilbert-Ryan Suter
Ryan Miller, DP, Jimmy Howard
Offense:But back to the USA roster. I wanted to get Ryan Callahan in there in the worst way but, let's face it, even with it being a Scotty Hockey/Burke team there are already a lot of grind-it-out energy guys included there in Langenbrunner, Brown, Malone, Backes and Guerin. And having Byfuglien's size as the extra forward is too enticing to pass up considering they are playing on NHL-sized rinks. No Drury, no Gionta, no Gomez because their times have all passed. Even with Dru's resurgence last week, he hasn't been clutch since he left Buffalo three years ago and the Montreal midgets haven't ranked among the elite in even longer. My first three lines have two skill guys with a grit guy on the wing and all three guys on the fourth line combine both talents.
Zach Parise-Paul Stastny-Jamie Langenbrunner
Dustin Brown-Tim Connolly-Phil Kessel
Ryan Malone-Joe Pavelski-Patrick Kane
David Backes-Ryan Kesler-Bill Guerin
Brian Rafalski-Mike Komisarek
Ryan Whitney-Brooks Orpik
Keith Ballard-Ryan Suter
Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas, Jimmy Howard
Johnson slides in as the extra defender because, let's face it, he is still a kid - especially having missed a year with the golf cart accident. Ballard is playing big minutes for Florida and handling many of the tough assignments well he is more-than-capable as a No.5 guy alongside 'legacy' Ryan Suter. Reuniting Orpik and Whitney is a no-brainer, as is combining the offense of Rafalski with the defense of Komisarek.
As for in goal, Miller and Thomas are guaranteed to make it if they are healthy so Howard gets the third spot to observe and learn for his shot in 2014 and beyond.
By the way, after combing through NHL rosters, I saw that the Minnesota Wild don't have a single American-born player on their team. How is that possible? There is just something wrong with that. So what is wrong - or right - with my selections for America 2010?